Ladbrokes agreed to pay out £975,000 to the victims of a problem gambler who stole funds from them to continue playing. According to media sources, Ladbrokes demanded that no complaint or demand was to be brought up with regulators for the settlement to take place.
Ladbrokes Settles Problem Gambling Case
On December 16, the Guardian, a respected daily newspaper in the United Kingdom, broke the news that Ladbrokes had agreed to pay £975,000 to the victims of a problem gambler who had taken the money from them to fuel his addiction, unchecked by the bookmaker.
The report specified that Ladbrokes had agreed to pay out on the condition that no complaint is lodged with regulators. This decision is not surprising amid the growing tensions between regulators and iGaming companies. Specifically, the bookmaker asked the victims “not to bring any complaint or make any report to any regulator in relation to the claim”.
Ladbrokes and its parent entity, GVC Holdings, which owns other flagship brands, including Corala and Gala, have originally stated that they would refrain from commenting, as it was a private settlement.
GVC Holdings then ventured to explain that as a “private settlement”, all of the contents of the agreement had to be kept confidential and made available to no third-parties, with the provisions of the negotiations remaining under wraps.
The holding also noted that the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) had been notified of the case as per the licensing agreement and the company expressed its willingness to cooperate further should there be any inquiries on the behalf of the regulator.
Ladbrokes’ May Have Enticed the Customer
This is not the first time the Guardian has reported about Ladbrokes. The newspaper has been following the “glitch” saga, which led to many cancelled winning wagers.
Back to the case of the problem gambler, though, the Guardian made a series of allegations regarding the way Ladbrokes had handled the situation. According to the report, the operator repeatedly extended gifts to the customer to keep them coming back, despite the responsible gambling commitment maintained by the company.
Some of the goodies offered included tickets to football, boxing and horse racing events along with free bonuses, travel arrangements with all expenses covered and more. The customer didn’t play continuously, either, taking short breaks from the activity.
He took a five-month break, using the occasion to talk to his account manager, sharing his concerns that he had been slipping into addiction and that he had been trying to give up. However, no-one has been able to confirm publicly whether such a discussion did in fact take place.
The Guardian then reported that following the period, Ladbrokes renewed their custom of sending the customer gifts and other incentives to have him play once again. At one point, the account manager reportedly invested £5,000 into the customer’s account, noticing a subsiding interest.
According to the news paper report, the account manager has been arbitrary with its mandatory compliance policies. Having been asked for a proof of income, the customer failed to reply at which point the account manager clarified that no such document would be needed immediately, the Guardian reported.
According to the Guardian’s report, the client was a property owner in Dubai where he had a now bankrupt business as a result of his unhealthy addiction.
Recently, the UKGC has said that it will start looking into the misdemeanor of not just entire companies, but individual staff members who may be left without a license to work in the industry.
Ladbrokes has had a fairly clean track record with the company seldom making headlines. Most recently, Ladbrokes signalled that it would consider withdrawing from the Irish market in anticipating of a new tax hike.